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Get proactive on CSR, say experts

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, Sep 17: Indian business conglomerates should get more proactive on addressing environmental and social concerns and not react to them only in response to social unrest, speakers at an international seminar on 'Corporate Social Responsibility' (CSR) here stressed.

Participating in the day-long seminar yesterday, representatives from the industry, academia and the government said while there were some instances of big business houses undertaking community development programmes, the small and medium industries should also get active in the area.

In his keynote address, Principal Secretary, Industries and Commerce, Kerala, Mr T Balakrishnan said it was seen that many corporates, not only in India but worldwide, demonstrate CSR initiatives as a response to either employee interest or social unrest or environmental activism or as a response to announcement of certain tangible incentives.

''Instead of being reactive, business conglomerates, both in the private and public sectors, need to be proactive in taking care of environmental and social concerns,'' he added.

Prof D Rajasenan, Director, International Center for Economic Policy and Analysis (ICEPA) of the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), dwelling on the theoretical aspects of CSR said there was a need to build an empirical model taking into consideration all the stakeholders.

Dr Gerard de Groot, Director, Development Research Institute, Tilburg University, The Netherlands, spoke on the Dutch experience on CSR.

Presentations were also made by speakers from Italy, Bangladesh and Indian corporates such as KMML, KRL and Apollo Tyres on their CSR initiatives.

The conference was jointly organised by the ICEPA, Tilburg University, Public Sector Restructuring and Internal Audit Bureau (RIAB) of the Kerala Government and the Kerala Management Association.

UNI

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